What’s your level?

These ukulele workshop levels have been taken from a magazine article by Heidi Swedberg. Thanks Heidi!!

Level 1: Beginner
Welcome! You are a new uke player and have already played with others or taken a few lessons. The beginning player is new to the uke (1-3 months), knows some basic, first position chords. You are fluent with (at least) your C, F, and G7 and can make chord changes easily and keep a beat.

Level 2: Intermediate
Now you’re a player, but chord diagrams over the words are still a must. Your job here is to master B-flat, get some strums under your belt and grow into your instrument—this is when you truly learn how to practice

Level 3: Experienced Intermediate
You know a bunch of chords and are ready to use them. Challenge yourself with some exciting techniques, and maybe venture further up the neck. Be proud of yourself, this is a fine plateau to reach. 

“What Strum Do I Use?”
with Steve Kritzer (Level 2)

You know the basic Island Strum, and maybe a little “chucking”.  Now where? We’ll explore a couple more complex strums, including 3/4, and 6/8 time, as well as a basic “Travis” fingerpick, and figure out how and when to use them to compliment what others are doing.

Alternate Chord Shapes
with Steve Kritzer (Level 2-3)

How to find and use alternate chords up the neck with just enough theory to be dangerous. How to use these to add the “frosting” to any jam session.

Introduction to Bluegrass Ukuleles
with Dr. Dennis Fisher (Level 2-3)

Most of us began our ukulele journey strumming, but fingerpicking on the ukulele opens up a whole new way of accompanying a song as well as playing solos. If you know the C, Am, F, and G7 in standard tuning, you are on your way to learning this exciting new way of playing the ukulele.

A basic understanding of how to read ukulele tablature is recommended. For those students unfamiliar with tablature, it will be included in this workshop.

In this workshop, we will teach you how to retune your uke from a 1st string A down to a G in “slack key tuning.” From there we will teach you a simple picking pattern (alternating thumb) which will help you learn your first bluegrass song, “Skip to My Lou.”

Next Step in Bluegrass Ukulele
with Dr. Dennis Fisher (Level 2-3)

Learning roll patterns is a great way to become familiar with right hand technique when playing bluegrass music on the ukulele. Using the C, Am, F, and G7 in standard tuning, we will show you this lively new way of playing the ukulele.

After teaching you how to retune your uke from a 1st string A down to a G in “slack key tuning,” we will show you a simple picking pattern called the “forward reverse roll” which we will use in playing the song, “Worried Man Blues.”

A basic understanding of how to read ukulele tablature is recommended. For those students unfamiliar with tablature, it will be included in this workshop. Students can take the “Next Steps” without taking the “Intro” class. It is preferable that the student has a high “G” (fourth string). However, they can learn the techniques with a low “G” (fourth string).

Playing Well With Others
with John Sandoval (Level 1-2)

The Do’s and Don’ts of Group Play for the Ukulele. Have you ever been in a Ukulele Play-Along group where it just sounds like one loud ukulele? Why do some groups sound harmonized and “groove” better? The difference can be just a few simple tricks! Learn how to play well with others by using substitute and alternate chords as well as various strumming and other creative techniques.

Right Hand Rules! The Fine Art Of Strumming Ukulele
with John Sandoval (Level 1-2)

Learning your chords is one thing but it’s just as important to learn how to strum your ukulele. This workshop will teach you the basics of strumming and how to improve your rhythm. Some topics we’ll cover include the “island strum”, various rhythm patterns, “chunking”, and triplets.

Hawaiian Music Intro 1
with Keoki Gordon (Level: 1)

This session will include a brief history of the origins and early days of the ukulele.  Then there will be a dive into one of the most popular styles of Hawaiian music – hapa haole.  This style (mainly in English with a few Hawaiian words mixed in) was created for the tourist trade right around the turn of the century.  We will be using standard wahine tuning as well as  conventional and calypso strum patterns.

Hawaiian Music Intro 2
with Keoki Gordon (Level: 2-3)

This session will pick up where HMI 1 left off.  We will briefly go into the pronunciation of the Hawaiian alphabet and the lyrics in our Hawaiian mele (music).  Then we will go through several beautiful meles and also touch on a simple picking pattern for some of the songs from both sessions.

“Groovin’ on a Saturday Morning” Play Along
with Budd Snell (Level 1-2)

Budd Snell will lead a group of easy play-along songs to help you find your ukulele goove.

Little Something Extra Play Along
with Leonard Kaufer (Level 2-3)

This play-along will feature songs that include a little something extra – an unusual strum or special chord pattern – that will lift them out of the ordinary.

Great American Songbook Play Along
with Leonard Kaufer (Level 3)

Classic jazz and swing tunes. Expect 10-20 chords per song!

Advanced Workshop/Play Along
with Leonard Kaufer (Level 3)

This play along will examine well-known songs that share a common pattern: Minor,  Minor(Maj7), Minor 7th, Minor 6th. For example:  Em, Em(Maj7), Em7, Em6. We may start with a song using the same progression using major chords just to get into the groove.

with Leonard Kaufer

Join us on Sunday in the town square for a morning of extra fun! We are going to beat the heat from 9AM until Noon. All instruments – or just your own self are welcome! Bring a chair or sit on the grass. Grab a bite on historic Vernon Street before or after the jam and make sure to bring something to stay hydrated!